England: From overrated to underrated

The latest round of 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers saw England pick up four points out of a possible six. Yet to lose a game in the qualifiers, the Three Lions are in confident mood as they look forward  to be in  Brazil next year.
Ivan R. Mugisha
Ivan R. Mugisha

The latest round of 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers saw England pick up four points out of a possible six. Yet to lose a game in the qualifiers, the Three Lions are in confident mood as they look forward  to be in  Brazil next year.

This is however not good enough, according to critics, who think that England is way overrated than their actual abilities on the pitch.

This is a little bit baffling, considering the fact that England comfortably sits on top of its group with 18 points with only two games left to play.

Unless something weird happens to help either Montenegro or Ukraine overtake England at the top, its hard to see Roy Hodgson’s men fail to reach the Brazil finals.

England is being accused, sadly by even its own senior players like Rio Ferdinand, of having average talent which is unable to match Germany, Spain or Italy.

Most of the criticism is based on the fact that English Premier League has a host of foreigners playing in the top clubs at the detriment of Englishmen.

A farfetched argument I believe, look at the Belgian national team. Only 20 percent or less of its XI play in the Belgian league and yet the country is currently Europe’s most improved country.

Chelsea, Liverpool or the two Manchester sides don’t necessarily guarantee success. Players like Ritchie Lambert play for Southampton, a club that only got promoted from the championship, and yet, he has been England’s savior when they had none.

This reminds me of the golden generation, where England boasted of Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Stephen Gerard, all playing like small gods.

England then was a star-studded side and whenever they played in any competition, they were exalted as the favourites for only to disappoint.

In reality, they were only overhyped underachievers, who rode on the back of the British media to believe the lies about their perceived greatness.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a transition phase for them. The Three Lions have plummeted straight from being overrated to now being underrated.

It also means that England’s real powers have largely remained unspoken, since it’s either their sycophants or radical critics who speak the loudest.

While it’s mostly negative talk about England at the moment, the players shouldn’t bask in fear but instead use this falsehood to their advantage.

 They are a good and young squad with Theo Walcott coming right through, Jack Wilshire spinning the middle and Wayne Rooney doing what he does best when fully fit.

Those calling for Hodgson’s head are simply overzealous and unrealistic-they want England to divert from the track. The man has simply given England a quality side, full of the youth and experience.

In the latest FIFA world rankings, England fell three places to 17th. Another blow? Definitely not. Instead its one of those things that shouldn’t count.

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